Saturday, July 17, 2010

Not a Cheap Date

I must be in a posting mood tonight. I'm watching a Philosophy infomercial, the dog is asleep across the back of the couch, and the husband is with his friends. Life's pretty sweet.

But. Life is also really expensive. One thing that's super expensive: Medical & Dental expenses. These are not fun, because they are just maintenance. It's not like, getting your hair done, and then you have really cute hair to show off for the next month. It's not like food, where you can sit, linger, and enjoy your meal, and then talk about that great date you had at so and so that one time.

It's just the business of living. And woah, my living has been pricey lately. Let's revisit my finger injury from May. We still have a big ER bill that hasn't been paid yet, not to mention the time I missed from work that week, and the resulting lost pay.

Additionally, I have dental drama. Case in point: once your cavities become visible to the naked eye by one who has no dental training whatsoever, it's time to suck it up and go to the dentist. I had put it off for a few years since I got my wisdom teeth out, since my last dentist was a huge tool.

Fast forward, got married, have a husband with a nice dentist; now I have a new dentist. The dental experience wasn't bad, cleaning was fine, and the x-ray, while not a trip to Busch Gardens, was not that big of a deal. Then the dentist was all, what is your diet? Do you drink sugar all day?!? haha, dental humor.

Then we talked treatment planning for my (at least 5) cavities. I know, I'm 28, and I have sugar holes in my teeth. :( That wasn't even that painful. I can handle some fillings. What was painful was having the billing person call me two hours later to give me my estimated copay for my first (of two) filling appointment, and she quoted me a price over $500.00.

My response was not classy, "Are you SERIOUS?!?!"

It's not even like I'm getting new teeth like Hillary Duff.

Of course this is for the pretty white fillings. I tried to downgrade to the amalgam mercury ones, but JC vetoed, "You pride yourself on your teeth and your smile. I think you'd end up sad about a mouth full of metal." He's such a keeper, and a total trooper about all this. I also researched, and the white composite fillings require less drilling and less removal of the existing tooth. I also already have one silver filling, so it would be silver all the way from the back to the front on my left side. I have an existing crown on that side too. What the heck is going on with the left side of my mouth?!?!

So, we're going to try to work out a payment plan. But all I can think of is how sad all this maintenance work is. Between my ER bill and my teeth (this isn't even for all of my fillings, only the first 4), I'm spending a grand for upkeep. It's not a new sofa; it's not even really tangible. It's not like I can go around showing my friends, "look at my cool fillings! Aren't they awesome?" The upkeep is only going to be more as we get older.

So, my lesson has been learned: Don't sleep on your dental visits! Go every 6 months, dentist's attitude be damned. Because skipping years of visits has caught up to me, and now I'm probably straight up funding my new dentist's down payment on his next BMW! :) I love my teeth and took them for granted, and now they are full of holes that have to be filled. Ugh.

From now on, I will be taking my vitamins, brushing (and flossing!!) and getting regular cleanings, keeping my physical appointments, etc. Because playing catch-up with your health is a bitch.



  1. OMG, health care is so expensive. Being an old lady of 37 years, I can say that you are definitely on to something. I had really terrible teeth as a young child so was always in the dentist's office. But I continued the practice of visiting the dentist even when I was in college and through the years out of habit. It has paid off. I have little issues in that area. But my friends don't have it so good. Gingivitis is the biggest issue. And gum disease is magnified if/when you get pregnant. A girl in my office had to have gum surgery after she had her son because the hormones reeked havoc on her already damaged gums.

    Sorry for the long comment. Just wanted to say good for you for taking care of yourself and realizing prevention is much easier (and cheaper) than correction.

    Love your blog!

  2. I totally feel your pain. I just got married and I no longer have dental insurance. Ouch. I had to go pay two hundred dollars for a retainer last week. That one hurt

  3. @Creature Gorgeous: You're so sweet; thank you! But that's why I decided to get back in the groove of the dental visits....I didn't want to be blindsided by dental issues when we start trying to conceive next year or so. :) (Congrats, by the way)

    @ Sarah: Ouch. That's a definite pain in the wallet!